Marketing and Advertising: What’s the Difference?

marketing and advertising

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Marketing and advertising. If you aren’t part of these industries, you might not be sure what exactly these words mean. You might just have a general understanding; advertising is promoting a product and marketing sort of does that too. Is this actually the case though? For an industry that focuses solely on bringing awareness to products and services, it does a pretty bad job of doing that for itself. Many people typically get the two mixed up or use the terms interchangeably. But actually, marketing and advertising are two very different things. So what is the difference? Well, you better get your bunny ears ready because we’re about to hop right into it!

What is Marketing?

marketing and advertising

If you want to know the difference between marketing and advertising, first, it would be good to know what both of them are. Marketing involves the steps you take to identify exactly what your product does. For example, if you’re selling jewelry, its marketing involves choosing the price and place it will sell. You need to figure out what customers you’re targeting and what their needs are. Marketing is designed to set the tone of the brand and define the product. It’s also the process of letting your audience know that they should invest in your brand. There is something called the four Ps of marketing. This is one of the steps you take when figuring out your marketing strategy. So what do each of the Ps stand for?

Marketing Mix: The Four Ps of Marketing

marketing mix

Product: What exactly are you selling?

Price: How are you going to price your product compared to the products of your competitors?

Place: Where is your audience going to go to gain information about your product?

Promotion: How will you promote your product? This is typically where advertising comes in.

These four Ps are not the only thing to consider when creating your market strategy. It’s simply part of the process and much more is required when it comes to marketing your product. 

Besides all the planning, you can promote your product without using advertising. These are marketing tactics that are created on your own platforms. For example, you can create content marketing that involves educational content like blogs and case studies. These types of marketing tactics help make your brand appear well-educated and credible. You can also use social media marketing where you create a social media presence to draw viewers in. 

What is Advertising?


Next up is advertising. Advertising is the process of promoting your product or service through paid media. This lets your audience know that your product exists and encourages them to invest in it. Some examples of advertisements include billboards, commercials, and magazine ads. Once you’ve developed a strategy, you can create an advertising campaign involving multiple types of media for a specific concept. Advertising is a very focused part of your overall brand strategy. A creative team comes together and forms a specific creative concept and turns it into an advertising campaign. Based on your budget, you can do all sorts of paid advertisements that will attract customers and introduce them to your product. What are different types of advertisements?

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertisements are exactly that: traditional methods used for advertising. Think of things that were around during Mad Men days. You have your typical ads from magazine ads, transit ads, billboards, commercials, and direct mail. Based on your strategy, you need to decide which methods work best for your product. If you’re targeting a very specific group of people, something more personal would be best, such as magazine ads or direct mail. If you’re targeting a more general audience, use mass media, like billboards and transit ads.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is a more modern form of advertising. You have more control over who sees your ads and can keep track of how many people have viewed them. Some examples include Youtube pre-roll ads, banner ads, social media ads, and Google ads. Since most people these days have access to a digital device, digital ads are great for targeting your audience. Many digital ads, such as social media ads, give you the option of monitoring how many people have interacted with your advertisement. This can allow you to see how well your ad is doing. Compare this to out-of-home advertising where there’s no way to track how many people interact with it. Unless, of course, you want to sit out there in front of a billboard with a pen and paper ready to track every person who walks by.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Think of marketing as the first step. You develop your marketing strategy and figure out exactly how to position your product. Next, you’ll decide how you want to promote your product. That’s where advertising comes in. While both marketing and advertising have the same goal, marketing looks at more than just the creative execution. It prepares the product leading up to that point, positioning it in the market. 

Marketing and advertising are definitely two things you’ll want to implement into your business. Here are some things to consider when creating your advertising and marketing plans:


  • Budget
  • Mission statement 
  • Branding
  • Target audience
  • Short and long term goals


Once you’ve answered all of these categories, you can easily position your product to become successful. Without knowing the answers, the decisions you make may not be beneficial. If you don’t know your audience, how will you know where to promote your product? It’s all about the details.

I hope this blog was informative and gave you the proper information about the difference between marketing and advertising. As a business owner, it can be very difficult to understand every aspect of your business. Marketing and advertising may get a bit confusing. If you need help with any of your marketing and advertising needs, contact us at Siva and we’ll get your business booming!

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